First Impression of XXXTentacion’s New Album “?”

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XXXTentacion recently released an album titled “?” in my opinion “?” is a very appropriate title considering no one was expecting music like this from this rapper, this would be his second album, his first being “17” and the two are very much like day and night as XXX was trying to take a different approach with his sophomore album. While “17” contained a whole set of darker emo songs “?” provides a much more wide variety of songs, while he still contains some of those darker songs there is a clear effort at trying to demonstrate his versatility with new instrumentals, harmonies, flow, and lyrics that we have yet to see.

“?” features many artists such as Joey Bada$$, Travis Barker, Matt Ox, PnB RoB, Judah, Carlos Andrez, and Rio Santana. It also contains 18 tracks that are relatively short in length as the total runtime is 37 minutes, do the math and you will easily come to the conclusion that these songs are close to an average of about 2 minutes. This definitely shows in the substance of the songs as some of his songs consist of simply one verse and one chorus. This may have occurred as a result of spreading himself across too thin, personally, I praise him for setting out to do something out of his comfort zone.

With all this said let’s look at my top five favorite songs and my top three least favorite. I will try to keep this brief considering I want to be as concise as possible so you guys can go ahead and listen to it yourselves.

 

Track Three: Moonlight

Rundown: This is unquestionably in my top three favorite songs of this album. This song features a unique beat combined with a very smooth verse that follows a catchy rhythm, it becomes hard not to have it stuck in your head. I strongly urge you start the album with this love song. Rating: 10/10

Track Four: SAD!

Rundown: This song, unlike Moonlight, doesn’t contain a complex beat but rather its simplicity is one of its biggest draws. The song also contains a moderate flow and is inexplicably one of the catchiest songs in this album. Rating: 9/10

Track Five: the remedy for a broken heart (why am I so in love):

Rundown: remedy for a broken heart makes my top four simply by how steady his flow is as well as his usage of various tempo speeds, combining this with his stronger lyrical verses, and catchy chorus makes this repetitive subject of love one worth listening to.  Rating: 8/10

Track Eight: infinity (888)

Rundown: infinity (888) is my favorite song on this album simply by how different it is from his usual songs but pulled it off extremely well. This song features Joey Bada$$ who is an established lyrical artist using him and X on top of an old-timey saxophone really meshes well and feels like a blast from the past. Another strong point of this song is his flow combined with high speed was executed well. Rating: 10/10

Track Fourteen: I don’t even speak Spanish lol

Rundown: Yes that actually is the title, anyways I felt this song merited a place in my top five simply from the ambition of X setting out to feature Spanish artists and execute it well. I also didn’t solely base it on ambition but took into account whether it was a good Spanish song, and the reggaeton mixed rap checked out. Rio Santana’s contribution to the song is what really pushed the song over the edge into my top 5. Rating: 8/10

With getting some of the best songs out of the way we’re going to look at the other side of the coin and look at the…(in my opinion) not so good ones.

Track Ten: Pain=BESTFRIEND

Rundown: Honestly, the first half of this song checked out okay in my book. It was continuing the theme of something different by using a guitar instrumental and using a soft-spoken X creating a different vibe for him. However, he tarnishes all of this by suddenly changing the whole tone of the song by basically screaming over the beat which leaves a distaste in your mouth. Overall, you almost feel disrespected by being presented with a halfway good song but feel robbed out of missing out on the full potential of that song. Not only that but the sudden transition makes the song laughable.  Rating: 3/10

Track Five: Floor 555

Rundown: I don’t like songs where X screams over, period. However, I placed my prejudice aside and listened to it from a different perspective and actually enjoyed the hardest beat on the album, he compliments this with an equally hard verse but the chorus is simply excessive and the song as a whole lacks substance, making this one of the weaker songs in the album. Rating: 4/10

Track 13: SMASH!

Rundown: The beat and PnB Rock made it difficult to put in the bottom four of this album because these elements made the song enjoyable to listen to. With this said, I feel X’s contribution actually worsened the song with a combination of mumbling, and the skull-numbing simplicity and repetitiveness. Rating: 5/10

So those are my top 5 favorite songs as well as my bottom three songs of this album. I strongly suggest for you to check it out considering I could’ve easily made this an 18 track review simply because there are many more unnoticed songs on that album that are enjoyable to listen to. X set out to do demonstrate his versatility and in listening to all of his songs there is a clear attempt at a wide variety of music ranging the instrumentals, flow, and melody. However, I believe more time was needed on this album because many songs consisted of one verse and a chorus, lacking content. Obviously, I’m not a music critic so If you don’t agree with my opinions, simply be your own judge and check it out yourself.

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